Sir Michael Balcon was one of Great Britain's most illustrious film producers. He began his cinematic career in 1919 working as a regional distributor and produced his first film, Woman to Woman, in 1923. Balcon assigned young Alfred Hitchcock to serve as his art director, screenwriter, and assistant director; Sir Balcon also gave Hitchcock his first job as a director. In 1928, the producer founded Gainsborough Pictures. Three years later, he was appointed director of production for Gaumont-British, and three years after that, he began working for MGM-British. While doing all this, Balcon also produced several important British films, including the early works of Hitchcock. From the late thirties to the late fifties, he worked as director and chief of production for Ealing Studios where he produced the infamous Ealing comedies. He formed Bryanston Films in 1959, and later during a notorious battle for control took over British Lion studios. In 1948, Balcon was knighted. Twenty years later his autobiography A Lifetime of Films was published.